The winter night was misty
by Abby Koning
As we stood side-by-side.
And the night was so cold that the stars,
Shivering even as we were,
Buried themselves beneath blankets
Woven of clouds and threads of blackest night
And all was shadowy and silent.
My winter coat was not quite thick enough
To shield my thin frame from the ice that
Sought to destroy us and all we stood for
But you took my hand
And transferred part of your warmth to me
And we were warm together.
You kissed the stars back into my eyes
(The night whispered, “Beware the end.”
But I didn’t understand)
You whispered in my straining ear,
A few words that I believed I longed to hear
But the strings of letters froze in the air between us
And my ears remained naïve
I blinked and when I opened my eyes
To peer through the sheen of frozen rain
You had vanished into the night
Confused tears froze upon my cheeks.
And I went home feeling completely empty
Except for my pocket
Which now contained your words.
My house was warm that night, or so
The thermostat tried to convince me.
But it felt cold to me, for I had seen warmer nights
Particularly when you were beside me.
I slumped into a kitchen chair
Removed the ice from my pocket
And gasped in pain.
As I cut my finger on your words.
Blood had never seemed so crimson.
Quickly, I filled a spotted glass with warm water
And poured in your words.
A familiar susurration accompanied the melting
And now I understood.
(which was not you, for I knew you were gone)
whispered, “Forget me.”
I knew it was impossible.
I would die before forgetting you.
But I also knew that I would do my best.
If it would only make you happy…
A spoon was my means to my end
I stirred, my frantic face reflected
Up-side down in the dull shine.
The water and painful words mixed
And turned a bright red…
The exact shade that my finger had spilled
Only moments before.
I closed my eyes tight
Tipped the glass back
And swallowed all my hurt
And your words.
I drained the glass my first try,
Although I nearly choked on the taste,
And set it gingerly on the table.
I felt no pain.
I felt like I was flying through a winter storm
Your last words to me were colder
Than any winter I’ve endured before
(the thermostat, however, remained the same)
But for the first time in my life
I didn’t have to endure it
For your words were poison.
And with my last breath,
As my cheeks turned to blue frost
Coated with icicle tears,
“I’ll never forget you.”